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October 27th, 1999

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Dow Ends Higher Ahead of Tomorrow's Data, Technology declines
by Wes George

The stock markets acted confused ahead of Thursday's important economic news, but interest rate sensitive financials and blue chips rallied very late in the day. The talk on the street is that bonds may have hit bottom. Direction tomorrow will be determined by how investors interpret the Employment Cost Index and the 3rd quarter gross domestic product data. Most tech stock closed lower over widespread fears of a Y2K tech hardware sales slow down.

This morning's release of September's durable goods orders proved weaker than expected after 4 months of increases. However, economists weren't surprised by the volatility, nor do they consider this the beginning of a demand downtrend.

Meanwhile, European markets closed down after strong continental money supply numbers increased the likelihood of a Central Bank interest rate hike.

The Dow advanced 92.76 or 0.90% to close at 10394.89. The Nasdaq was down 8.95 to close at 2802.52. The S&P 500 rose 14.80 or 1.15% to close at 1296.71. The 30-year bond yield declined to 6.32% while the Transports and the Utilities indices staged a comeback today from recent lows. In fact, almost every utility stock ended the day higher.

Apple announced that it would not market the new Power Mac G4s in China just yet because of US export regulations. Apple could legally sell the G4s in China, but the company would have to account for the location and owner of each computer, an impossible task.

Apple was one of the few hardware stocks up today 1 5/16 or 1.75% to close at 76 3/8 on less than average volume. eBay lead the Internet sector lower, off 13 5/16, even though they reported earnings today that met analyst's target of $0.01 per share. reports earnings after the bell.

In Apple related stocks today: Adobe Systems (ADBE) will execute a 2 for 1 split after the markets close but ended the day lower anyway. Macromedia closed lower but Symantec advanced 9/16. Apple's Power PC partner's IBM and Motorola also closed lower. Apple's rivals Gateway, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq all ended sharply off . Intel and Microsoft also joined the losers circle.

A slew of bad tech sector news began with Merill Lynch's cut of 1999 earnings estimate for Hewlett Packard to $2.97 from $3.02 per share. Morgan Stanley "reiterated its neutral/cautious stance on IBM." Microsoft delayed the shipping of Win 2000 till February of next year. Hambrecht & Quist downgraded Dell from a buy to a market perform. While Salomon Smith Barney lowered its earnings per share estimate for Intel from $0.64 to $0.59 in the 4th Quarter.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.


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